"Coach" at Purdue Coach John Wooden Coach on the sidelines at UCLA game
Wooden Way Leadership

A Business Management Seminar Based on the Leadership Principles of the "Coach of the Century"


Seminar Description

Who Should Attend

Basketball and Business

Why Basketball?

In a recent Wall Street Journal article - featuring the "Fuqua School of Business/Coach K Center of Leadership and Ethics" at Duke University - Thaddeus Herrick suggested that applying the team building and leadership principles and practices to business from sports - specifically basketball, is the perfect organizational paradigm.  
  • The pace of basketball is akin to business - "fast, fluid, and requiring flexibility"

  • The players must make decisions on the court as opposed to waiting for sideline instruction. 

  • The scale of the game (i.e., typically a dozen players per team) is comparable to the typical supervisory ratio of direct reports. 

  • The leadership skills required on the sidelines in basketball, unlike other sports, parallel business - as an injury to or foul trouble with a key player may cause the entire game plan to be changed, as opposed to just sending in a substitute.

  • Lastly, the general coaching style of basketball places a premium on cooperation and collaboration between player and coach - a philosophy and approach more and more relevant in today's business world.

Herrick, T.  (2005).  "Leadership as Layup?"  Wall Street Journal, March 14, R-10.